Brighton & Hove City Council - Venue Hire Policy


1. Introduction  

2. Aims & Objectives

3. Scope

4. Definition of Events

5. Principles

6. Councils responsibilities

7. Equality & Diversity

8. Legislation

9. Decision Making


1. Introduction

1.1              Brighton & Hove City Council is one of the most vibrant and diverse seaside City’s in the UK and our residents and visitors value the rich cultural offer that comes with these events whether they be in Local Authority operated venues or as part of the Outdoor Events Programme. Brighton & Hove City Council recognises the value and benefit that a diverse mix of well-designed and well managed events can bring to communities. The council is committed to supporting a diverse mix of events, including those that contribute to our vibrant culture, community prosperity, the environment, and the economy.


1.2              Brighton & Hove City Council owns and manages a large portfolio of indoor and outdoor venues across the city, which facilitate a significant number of events each year.

1.3       The Brighton & Hove City Council Venue Hire Policy seeks to provide clear guidance on authorised hire and use of venues owned by the council. Council owned venues may be hired by persons, parties or organisations for public events, activities, or meetings. This Policy sets out principles for how the council will authorise and manage the booking of events, applying consistent practice in doing so. These principles are based on a range of requirements which arise from legislation, guidance, and other council policies.

1.4       The Policy applies to all events held in the city that meet the definition outlined in section 4 of this Policy.



2. Aims & Objectives

2.1       The Policy covers the obligations, responsibilities, and limitations in relation to hosting an event in a Brighton and Hove City Council Venue or outdoor space. It is the intention of the policy to balance the interests of residents, event organisers and other stakeholders within the community.

2.2       The Policy seeks to enable a diverse mix of well-designed and well managed events across the city, which deliver community, environmental and economic benefits, bring communities together and contribute to the promotion of a vibrant multi-cultural community. This includes events that align with the council’s priorities, generate income that can be reinvested in maintaining and improving council services, and which comply with relevant duties, regulations, and legislation. The policy also provides a framework to ensure consistent practice in event bookings and ensure appropriate use of hired premises.


3. Scope

3.1       The Policy relates specifically to the hiring of venues for events, activities, and meetings attended by the public in a ‘Brighton and Hove City Council Venue’, specifically:

·         Council owned, operated, or managed indoor and outdoor spaces

3.2       This includes but is not limited to the hiring of venues for events in rooms, halls, parks, and other event spaces. For example:

·         Meetings, training, and conference venues

·         Parks and Open Spaces including Public Highways

3.3       Any individual or organisation looking to make an event booking be it for personal, commercial, charitable or community use must adhere to the requirements of this Policy and principles set out in it. Hirers must also adhere to any relevant policies, procedures, conditions, and codes of conduct specific to the booking concerned and relevant to the hire and use of the venue.







4. Definition of Events

4.1       A planned indoor or outdoor event, activity, or meeting in a specific location.


5. Principles

5.1       Brighton & Hove City Council, through the Policy, supports an appropriate use of its venues, where spaces are utilised safely and legally. Through good management, community benefits are delivered, and equal opportunities and community cohesion are promoted. This will also enable more residents, individuals, groups and community organisations to hold events in the city, this includes for charity and commercial events.

5.2       Outlined in the sections below are the principles of the Policy. These principles provide a clear and systematic approach to the management of events, and describe in more detail, the council’s position on event bookings, and the grounds by which an event application will be successful.

5.3       Events encouraged:

Brighton & Hove City Council welcomes events that support its strategic priorities and outcomes, including events that support community prosperity and good community relations and comply with the law and regulations.

5.4       The council, for example, will encourage events which (list non-hierarchical or exhaustive):

·         Can demonstrate they support the council’s strategic priorities and outcomes

·         Enrich the cultural diversity, vibrancy, and economic vitality of the City

·         Promote equal opportunities, and do not unlawfully discriminate against any individual or group

·         Build accessibility into their format and delivery, with reasonable adjustments made to maximise accessibility

·         That align with BHCC Outdoor Events Strategy 2019 to 2024 and The Visitor economy Strategy 2018 to 2023

·         Have due regard to the correct and current legal requirements as well as industry best practice and specific council policies

·         Minimise disruption to residents, businesses, and transport networks

·         Protect and enhance the environment or infrastructure

·         Promote a positive image of Brighton & Hove

·         Promote licensing objectives

·         Can deliver community benefits and enhance well-being

·         Can have a positive impact on the local economy and where appropriate, support council income generation targets




5.5       Events not permitted:

Whilst the council will support events where possible, it will not accept applications to hire a Brighton & Hove City Council Venue for events which are political campaigns, may be damaging to community relations, are illegal, breach the Public Sector Equality Duty (see section 7 below), or conflict with any of the council’s statutory duties. The council will not accept applications from organisations or individuals that carry out or promote activities or agendas that may be harmful to good community relations.

5.6       Whilst not an exhaustive list, the council, for example, will not permit venue hire applications of the categories specified below.

This list will work alongside other relevant policies, procedures, conditions, and codes of conduct pertaining to the hire and use of the venue and will allow for officer discretion when making decisions on bookings.

From event organisers, guests, or speakers:

·         That are banned by law (proscribed by the home office)

·         That promote extremist views, hatred or intolerance or advocate acts of terrorism

·         Whose presence may cause civil unrest or divisions within the community or not be conducive to good community relations

5.7       Events that will not be permitted include:

·         Any council events during the pre-election period where the context or content could be politically linked

·         Events with content that would be prejudicial to the council’s interests, rights or policy

·         Events for purposes which are illegal and not permitted in law or by byelaw i.e. be they forbidden by law or unauthorised by official or accepted rules

·         Events that will breach or put the council in breach the Equality Act 2010

·         Events, which in the council’s opinion, could be, sexist, homophobic, racist, or offensive in any way or which may damage community cohesion

·         Events which are contrary to Brighton & Hove’s Anti Racism pledge

·         Events where it may adversely affect the reputation of the council

·         Events which breach Health and Safety or those likely to be refused by one of the emergency services

·         Events which are likely to have an unacceptable impact on the infrastructure and biodiversity of the selected site

5.8       Hirers must also adhere to any relevant policies, procedures, conditions and codes of conduct specific to the booking concerned and pertaining to the hire and use of the venue.

5.9       For council owned and managed venues, the council will:

·         Brighton & Hove City Council reserves the right to complete full due diligence at the point of enquiry. This may include financial checks; company checks and research into past events and any issues that may impact upon the City or the venues reputation.

·         Brighton & Hove City Council also reserves the right to decline any event based on clear and unbiased information that comes out of that research at any point in the enquiry stage.

·         Only accept applications from those aged 18 years or over

·         Balance its decisions for venue hire on equalities, cohesion, human rights

considerations, regulation, legislation, and law

·         Levy an appropriate fee or charge for the hire, subject to the scale and type of event.

·         Act to ensure events comply with Health and Safety and all other relevant legislation and regulations

·         Act to ensure events do not breach the terms and conditions of hire

·         Permit the presence of assistive devices (aids) and assistance dogs across all its venues.


6. Council responsibilities

6.1       The council will balance its decisions for venue hire on a range of factors. This includes equalities, cohesion, human rights considerations, regulation, and legislation. It will assess applications to ensure they are in accordance with existing priorities, commitments, policy and booking conditions.

6.2       The council reserves the right to ask for additional information about bookings and to approve/ reject accordingly.

6.3       The Council also reserves the right to refuse to hire a council venue and to terminate any booking if it determines this appropriate.

6.4       The council will review, set and publish its fees and concessions on venue hire annually.


7. Equality & Diversity

7.1       In the application of this Policy the council will adhere to all relevant sections of the Equality Act 2010 including Section 149 of the Act, which places a general duty on public authorities to, in the exercise of their functions, have due regard to the need to:

·         Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.

·         Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

·         Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

·         The council will undertake an annual review of hirers, considering their equality characteristics and sue this information to remove, if present any barriers to hire for communities as a result of their protected characteristic(s).


8. Legislation

8.1       All events must conform to relevant legislation, including but not limited to:

·         Representation of the People Act 1983 (section 95 & 96)

·         Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

·         Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981

·         Data Protection Act 1998

·         Equality Act 2010

·         Public Order Act

·         s.145 Criminal Justice Act 2003

·         The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999

·         RIDDOR 1995

·         Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006

·         Town and Country Planning Act 1947 and 1990

·         Licensing Act 2003

·         The Children’s Act 1989

·         Fire Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

·         Firework Regulations 2004

·         Safety at Sports Ground Act 1975

·         Private Security Industry Act 2001

·         Environmental Protection Act 1990

·         Noise Act 1996

·         Brighton & Hove City Council Byelaws

·         Human Rights Act 1998

All bookings must adhere to the latest Covid-19 guidance provided by government and related industries.

Please also refer to the contractual terms in the booking of a Brighton & Hove City Council Venues.

9. Decision Making

9.1       Where an application for venue hire contravenes the principles of this Policy it may be escalated to Brighton & Hove’s City Councils Executive Leadership Team for advice and support. Feedback from the group will be reflected when the council’s decision is conveyed to the applicant.

9.2       If the organiser change the parameters of their event which contravene this Policy at any time during the planning stage then contract terms will apply and any deposits paid will be retained.